Island leaders and residents have joined the nation in praying for the victims of two bombs that went off near the finish line of the prestigious Boston Marathon in Massachusetts on Monday, killing three people, including an 8-year-old boy, and wounding at least 144 others.
“I was shocked to see that on television. It reminded me of the 9/11 attacks and the threats from North Korea. My family and I pray for the victims and their families,” Chester Cuento, a Navy Hill resident, told Saipan Tribune yesterday.
Cuento, however, said that fear should not deter people from going about their daily lives.
“I hope there won’t be any more of this. We were worried about North Korea’s threats, and now this, but we have to pray and hope that we don’t have to experience any of those,” he added.
Gov. Eloy S. Inos, in a statement, said, “What occurred in Boston has no place in our society.”
"Early [yesterday] morning, many of us woke up to the tragic news of explosions that occurred near the finish line of the renowned Boston Marathon. Lt. Gov. [Jude] Hofschneider and I join the state of Massachusetts and the nation in remembering the innocent victims who lost their lives and those who sustained injuries. We also pray for the families of the victims,” the governor said.
As authorities investigate this “act of terror, we are hopeful that many open questions get answered.”
“At this point in time, we have not received any information from any source indicating whether any of our local residents were in the area at the time of the incident. We ask the people of the Commonwealth to keep those affected and the people of Boston in their thoughts as they make every effort to recover from this insensible tragedy,” the governor added.
David R. Maratita, a Garapan resident, said his prayers and condolences go out to the victims and their families.
“And we hope they find the perpetrators and bring them to justice,” he added.
Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) said: “Mere words are insufficient to console the loved ones of those lost at the Boston Marathon.”
“But we must do what we can to care for them. We must ensure that justice will be done,” he said.
Like countless others around the globe, Sablan said his thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston and with the families of all of the victims of the “brutal attack.”
“We pray for the health and recovery of those injured and for the first responders who arrived on the scene to tend to the wounded and secure the area,” he said.
Sablan said he has no information at this time whether anyone from the CNMI was in the area when the bombs went off.
“I know that I speak for all of us in the Northern Mariana Islands when I say that we will stand as a source of support and comfort to the Boston community in the days to come,” he added.
President Barack Obama vowed that “any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.”
He also said Boston "is a tough and resilient town” and Americans will stand by Bostonians "every single step of the way."
"On days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats—we are Americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens,” he added.
Guam Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo said her thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston and all those affected by this tragedy.
“I join the people of Guam in extending my condolences to the families of the victims of these senseless attacks in Boston. As we learn more about this developing situation, I will join my colleagues in Congress to provide any support the city and Massachusetts may need,” she said.
In recent days, island residents have also been following the news about North Korea’s threats to attack its neighbors, including Guam. The CNMI government said it has been working with its Guam counterpart and the U.S. military in developing a contingency plan in the event North Korea carries out its threats.